This is Philip Wyeth. In my two novels, Reparations USA and Reparations Mind, I create a dystopian future America where Reparations is the law of the land. One facet of this world is Leftists going to extreme lengths checking their privilege in absurd atonement rituals.
But beyond satire, I really am trying to understand and articulate the thought processes that make up the progressive worldview. Two recent events show that, one the one hand, I’m directly over the target, but on the other, my ideas which might seem like hyperbole, only have a one-week shelf life before being surpassed by reality.
Consider the Leftist Nora Loreto, whose brainwashing enabled her mind to morph the Humboldt hockey team bus crash tragedy into a tweet that questioned whether the “whiteness” and “maleness” of the victims led to so much donation money being raised for the victims’ families.
And then just this week, liberals have been falling all over themselves virtue signaling after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
To explore the causes of this white-guilt posturing, I’m going to read an excerpt from the first novel in my series, “Reparations USA.” In the chapter entitled “Privilege,” one of the protagonists, Kate Donohugh, who is a longtime advocate and employee at the Historical Reparations Administration, is stuck at home away from work due to an illness.
“With all this down time, Kate suddenly found herself nagged by an old ghost from the early days of her awakening, when the naive, self-centered girl from the suburbs was first bombarded by the raw truth of how overwhelming the scale of world suffering was—pain that was in fact so often caused by other white people.
“This new perspective had given birth to an unsparing inner voice that turned making even routine decisions into a statistical analysis ritual, which involved going down a mental checklist to consider how anything she was about to do might affect someone less fortunate than her. It was hard to be present and mindful with so many thoughts pinballing around her head, but Kate made peace with the process by assigning herself an act of contrition or charity to offset any experience or purchase that was pleasurable to herself, such as a kiss or a glass of wine.
“This pestering voice went silent sometime during the HRA’s planning phase, and was mostly forgotten in the busy and effective years since its launch—a fitting reward considering that Kate and her fellow visionaries had found a way to transmute the chatterbox of one’s guilty conscience into applied, outcome-based altruism.
“But now, laid up at home with nothing to do, the voice came back maniacally, seemingly oblivious to all that she’d accomplished, and making wild new demands about remedying problems not covered under the HRA’s umbrella. She felt her mind short-circuit as it grappled with accusations that she was neglecting these other important human rights issues. How did she intend to help people with gender confusion? Was she a self-serving hypocrite for taking advantage of the HRA’s generous health care plan when so many of the people she had allegedly vowed to help still only had access to woeful clinics? Maybe Myra Jenkins was right and the HRA did need to do more.
“Sweating alone in bed one evening, Kate tangled her mind in knots trying to think of new ways she could eradicate her privilege. For years she and every white person she knew had done everything in their power to be conscious of their own inherent advantages, and this had guided them daily in trying to help the people who had not fared as well in life’s lottery. But now she was beginning to suspect that no matter what selfless act she performed, there would always be something else to account for—and how could you sleep peacefully, let alone function, when the goalposts kept moving?
“She turned on the TV to calm herself down, but the first thing she saw was an obnoxious ad by H&R Block boasting about all the archaeologists, translators, and friendly tribal leaders they’d hired to find extra deductions for Debtors. These guys just won’t stop, she thought—and then the power abruptly cut out and she was left in complete darkness.
“She should have embraced this sudden gift of quiet and stillness to go back to sleep, but the old restless Kate of indefatigable action now fighting for her life insisted upon at least getting the flashlight to keep handy until the power returned or Chris got home from the gym, whichever came first. She slid out from the sheets down onto the floor, then delicately crawled over to the TV stand where she groped around the shelves until finding the flashlight.
“But she couldn’t bring herself to turn it on. The instant she’d grabbed it, her mind envisioned all the people out there who didn’t have a flashlight of their own. The inner voice whispered, ‘Don’t use it. Stand in solidarity with them. Check your light privilege!’
“From here her thoughts tumbled into a self-incriminating house of mirrors. What other comforts did she enjoy without ever acknowledging, let alone act upon to rectify? ‘Plumbing!’ the voice yelled. ‘Refrigeration! Transportation! Cell phone!’ And up until five minutes ago, electricity.
“How could she possibly atone for all of this? What virtuous acts would serve to fully exorcise the guilt she now felt for passing decades of her life blind to the thousand micro-advantages she had taken for granted?
“Falling deeper into the hallucination now, Kate’s mind seized upon the fate of her remains. Although she had already decided that scattering her ashes was preferable to the environmental impact of an ornate coffin or even burying an urn, sudden panic set in when she realized that the energy expended during cremation would still add to her life’s cumulative carbon footprint. She fantasized that there must be a way to eclipse the camper’s motto of pack-it-in, pack-it-out, and to honor Mother Earth by disposing of a human body so efficiently as to leave no trace—even less than ashes.
“Chris found her on the floor cradling the flashlight in the dark. She was paralyzed, couldn’t understand what he was saying, but felt him pick her up and carry her onto the bed. She felt the blankets cover her and fell asleep as her body nestled around the unused flashlight.
“That night Kate truly believed for the first time that she was going to die. In truth, it was the turning point in her recovery. Dipping a toe into the darkest corners of her subconscious had given her a sixth-sense insight into the many layers and subtle nuances crammed into that word privilege, and now her drive to fight for the underdog was ten times stronger than before. Once her body healed, she knew that nothing would ever slow her down again.”
Thanks for listening. You can find my books on most major online platforms. Right now “Reparations USA” is available free as an e-book on Smashwords, and you can order paperback copies as well as e-books on Amazon. Links are in the description box.
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Video was originally uploaded on April 19, 2018.